I started my natural Black hair “journey” three years ago and it has been relatively painless (to my pleasant surprise). That is due in large part to my hair stylist Shanelle who has told me what to do each step of the way. Recently, Shanelle came over my house for my quarterly hair trim. I mentioned that for the first time, I was starting to have breakage at the crown of my head and the nape of my neck plus I was getting split ends. Since I have a lot of hair, it wasn’t extremely noticeable but I like to be proactive. Fortunately, Shanelle had some great tips regarding how to grow healthy natural Black hair!
Shanelle mentioned that natural hair breakage at the crown (top of the head) is pretty common. I thought that it was because I was twisting and braiding my hair because I had never experienced breakage when I was blow-drying my natural hair. While that is possible, Shanelle mentioned that the crown area tends to be the thickest area of the hair so I just need to be more careful to make sure that I saturate it with conditioner and be extra gentle as I comb that area of my hair out from ends to roots. (It’s true. My hair is like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story with its 3 different textures. The front is too soft – almost impossible to hold a twist or curl. The crown area is too hard so I can see why I got impatient while detangling it. Then, the back is “just right” with a beautiful, natural curl.)
Although it’s the “easiest” part of my hair, I was also experiencing some breakage at the nape of my neck. My hypothesis was because I was making the twists for my natural twist-out styles too small. I have switched from twists to larger braids when drying my hair so I think that will help. Shanelle also added to be careful when pulling natural hair up into ponytails because that can add unnecessary strain to the hair which causes breakage. I’m glad that she mentioned that because I hate my hair being on my neck when it’s hot so high ponytails are one of my summer “go-to” styles.
Lastly, I noticed that the ends of my hair were splitting. I think/hope that the issue was that my twists were too small. I wondered aloud if I should go back to natural hair blowouts since I wasn’t having any of these breakage or split-end issues before. It’s getting hot though so I really don’t want to use a blow-dryer during the summer. Shanelle mentioned again the importance of conditioning and being gentle with my hair. She also trimmed my ends. (Once the ends are split, it’s important to get them cut.) The great thing about natural Black hair is that I don’t care that much when it needs to get cut. It’s less for me to twist/braid…and it looks like a bob anyway. 🙂
- Be gentle with your hair.
- Condition, condition, condition.
- Don’t pull your hair up or back too much.
- Keep your split ends trimmed.